Monday, July 9, 2007

July 9th Observations

1) Lots of chatter about the Lowe offer sheet to Vanek. What IS apparent/clear is that the new CBA/salary cap does little to help incompetent GM's.

  • Lowe should/could have locked up Captain Canada Ryan Smyth for about 5.5 mil in February, but failed to step up and then proceeded to ridicule his former captain once he was traded. Way to burn them bridges Kevin!

  • Lowe proclaims he WILL make a significant trade on or about draft day. Looks silly when that doesn't materialize.

  • UFA opens, player after player passes on Edmonton's dough. One, Michael Nylander even takes much LESS to go to Washington instead of Edmonton. Lowe proceeds to blame geography and player wives. Nice job Kevin!

  • Sabres GM, Darcy Regier gets all bent out of shape when another team(run by the aforementioned dunce in Edmonton) actually makes an offer to one of his (former) players. Former, because as of July 1 Vanek had no contract. Yes, he was restricted, but he was free to negotiate with anyone. For almost an entire year Regier could have negotiated and signed the Austrian forward at a fraction of what he was 'forced' to do. He and he alone should take responsibility at that ineptitude.

  • Speaking of ineptitude and Darcy Regier. We're told that an extension contract was accepted by Drury last fall. The Sabres failed to get it done in a timely fashion(losing the paper work if you can believe that!) and Drury decided to step back and stop the negotiations until after the season. We can see now where that got them. Not only did they lose their captain, but it forced them to have to match the silly Edmonton offer for Vanek.

2) What else is going on FA/trade wise this morning?

  • Sheldon Souray was supposed to be one of the big name UFA's that teams were going to bid big bucks for. So why is the former Hab still unsigned 9 days into the process? We're hearing that he did receive several offers, but none in the range his agent was seeking. He also preferred to go to a contending team. One asst GM who we frequently talk, told us the 'request sent to about 9 teams was for 5 year 35 million!' No wonder everyone passed on it! There aren't too many defensemen in the league worth 7 mil, and Souray is NOT one of that select 2-3 guys who might. He will have to bite the bullet and come down slightly with his request or make himself open for all 30 teams to bid. He better act soon, else GM's will have their budgets set and not have the cash to spend on him!

  • Former Islander, Alexei Yashin's agent is talking with at least 1 or two SE division teams. The underachieving center is getting much more attention these days now that the big fish have been hooked.

  • Rangers go to arbitration with Lundqvist. We don't expect it will get there. We're told negotiations are ongoing for a multiyear deal. King Hank is quite willing to give the proverbial 'home town discount'. He loves playing in NY, and would prefer to stay there long term if possible. Many might recall how Fauxrumors outed Lundqvist's partying ways last fall as a possible reason for his slow start. Look for the party boy to sign a 3-5 year deal at a cap reasonable 3.5 mil/year. In the mean time the arbitartion process does stop any possible offer sheets from coming his way.

  • The Sharks continue to explore ways to improve their defense. We're told Marlaeu is still available, BUT only for the right price. He wil be a UFA next summer. They took a pass on Souray at his asking price. A deal with Nashville that may or may not involve the life long Shark could be in the works


Sauce said...

Lundqvist would have to be an IDIOT to sign for only 3.5 million. Giguere signed for 6.5, and even DiPietro's 15 year deal nets him 4.5 million per. NYC endorsements certainly can't be worth that much to make up the difference each year.


1) As we mentioned, 3.5 would be a bit of a home town discount, BUT wouldn't be far from what his peers are receiving. Giguere was to become a UFA, so his contract isn't comparable
2) More usable would be Ryan Miller of Buffalo who will make 3.5 next season. Cam Ward who will make 2.5(and has a Cup ring) DiPietro's 15 year deal is quite an anomaly.
3) We don't see this going to an arbiter anyway, but in the end 3.5 isn't a HUGE savings, when he's compared to his peers

Sauce said...

Miller's contract is indeed a good comparison for Lunqvist. But Miller signed his extension on september 2006. Things are surely a whole lot different since then. A player who signed for 3.5 million a year ago would command a bunch more today with the same stats. In Miller's case, he signed that puppy before his excellent showing in this year's playoffs. I think you've given justification for to lift Henrik's salary close to the 5+ million range.


1) If he goes to arbitration (and we don't see that happening) his agent may very well ask for 5. The Rangers will probably counter with 3 ad he'll get 4 for 1 year.
2) Will be equally interesting to see what Avery asks for/gets. Meanwhile Shanahan is going no where. He will take whatever is available/left.
3) As a 35+ yr old he can sign for a lower salary as well as easily achieved incentives that will push his salary to almost double the initial outlay and that can be deferred to the following ear's cap if the team chooses.

Sauce said...

Avery's deal will definately be an interesting one to watch. And you're probably right about Shanahan. But this all is clealy illustrating that the Rangers victory in obtaining BOTH Drury and Gomez might end up being pyrrhic. Shanahan's incentive comp can be deferred against next year's cap, but if that cap doesn't rise significantly, how might the Rangers expect to sign Mara and Rozsival?

Certainly one of the most interesting off-seasons in a long time.


1) Thinking about NEXT summer may be getting a bit too far ahead of ourselves BUT its likely the cap will continue to rise. Probably not as much as this year.
2) As for the Rangers. Next summer they may have a bigger headache than Shanahan's incentives. It'll be Jagr's "option" year. Its a player option so he could decide he'd either like to test the FA waters or retire. It will be difficult to get a forward to replace his production for the amount the Rangers are paying him (4 mil)(4 or so mil still being paid by the Caps) Another reason the Rangers probbaly would like to get Lundqvist under contract long term NOW!


1) BTW Sauce question: How are Islander fans taking the Guerin as captain news? We wrote on a few Isles blogs today that naming Guerin captain on the surface sounds great, BUT:
a) He wasn’t informed until he was about to walk up to the microphone this morning!
b) The older guys who slugged it out last season(Silinger/Witt) were probably more deserving. An ‘A’ for Guerin would probably have been appropriate. Its not like he has had the persona that Smyth had, of a natural leader.
c) From someone afar and not a fan of the team, seems like a PR stunt more than anything. Guess if a goalie could accept it another Mass native would be the captain right now!

Sauce said...

Was it a PR stunt? Of course it was. The Isles fan base is still very fragile right now and I'm sure season ticket subscription renewals haven't exactly been flooding in since July 1.

I know Guerin said he was surprised by the announcement, but I'd be willing to bet that the possibility of the captaincy was discussed during contract negotiations.

I fully expected Sillinger to be named captain. The guy is just so easy to talk to and encouraging to the younger players. Witt has certainly paid his dues, but he's a little more on the introverted side, and the Islanders have had their fill of that type of captain.

I'm not unhappy with the choice of Guerin. And knowing how Snow tends to operate, I wouldn't be surprised if he had discussions with both Witt and Sillinger about the decision. Guerin has the numbers behind him to back up the things he might say in the lockerroom. Contrary to you I do see him as a leader-type and, considering the players that were lost, the team is quite different from the one on the ice in the playoffs and presents Guerin a unique opportunity to promote his work ethic into the team.

Jibblescribbits said...

For all the dumb moves GM makes, you can't blame Souray's agent for asking for $7M/per, but let's give credit to the GM's of the league for not signing a 1-dimensional player to superstar money.

thedope said...

thanks for the update on Souray. That's the closest I've heard to anything resembling news about his situation.

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